You can’t really talk about Wisconsin – and Milwaukee specifically – without the conversation quickly devolves into your and your friends arguing over the best brewery. After all, Pabst did win their BLUE GODDAMN RIBBON here!
So why are we so beer-centric as a city? Well, our small population made us a great place to start brewing beer in the Midwest due to the amount of space. We were able to get a headstart on the United States Brewery Race. The proximity of the lake was helpful in transporting our beer. For example, our beer sales basically exploded when Chicago had their great fire of 1871. Their homes may have burned down, but they still needed a quick way to get beer brought in! And finally, our beer craftsmen (yes, mostly men back then, sorry) were great businessmen as well and turned small family craft breweries into huge American companies.
We did make the champagne of beers – not even the French can say that!